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Physiotherapists prefer clinical supervision to focus on professional skill development: a qualitative study


Snowdon, DA and Cooke, S and Lawler, K and Scroggie, G and Williams, K and Taylor, NF, Physiotherapists prefer clinical supervision to focus on professional skill development: a qualitative study, Physiotherapy Canada, 72, (3) Article e20190004. ISSN 0300-0508 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 Canada Physiotherapy Association

DOI: doi:10.3138/ptc-2019-0004


Purpose: We explored physiotherapists’ perceptions of clinical supervision.

Method: Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 21 physiotherapists from a public hospital. Qualitative analysis was undertaken using an interpretive description approach. The Manchester Clinical Supervision Scale (MCSS–26) was administered to evaluate the participants’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the clinical supervision they had received and to establish trustworthiness in the qualitative data by means of triangulation.

Results: The major theme was that the content of clinical supervision should focus on professional skill development, both clinical and non-clinical. Four subthemes emerged as having an influence on the effectiveness of supervision: the model of clinical supervision, clinical supervision processes, supervisor factors, and supervisee factors. All sub-themes had the potential to act as either a barrier to or a facilitator of the perception that clinical supervision was effective.

Conclusions: Physiotherapists reported that clinical supervision was most effective when it focused on their professional skill development. They preferred a direct model of supervision, whereby their supervisor directly observed and guided their professional skill development. They also described the importance of informal supervision in which guidance is provided as issues arise by supervisors who value the process of supervision. Physiotherapists emphasized that supervision should be driven by their learning needs rather than health organization processes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:physiotherapy, qualitative, supervision
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Allied health and rehabilitation science
Research Field:Physiotherapy
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Allied health therapies (excl. mental health services)
UTAS Author:Lawler, K (Dr Katherine Lawler)
ID Code:136973
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2020-01-24
Last Modified:2021-02-02
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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